Last night I was assigned to replace a colleague ref on two late night futsal games. Maybe he preferred watching Champions League or the outcome of the Dutch national elections. Two events close to my heart, but I decided to go refereeing anyhow. I need this distraction.
The hall was still empty when I arrived, so this game could have been scheduled earlier. Checked the digital player passes and got the game on track. The away team was ranking low, whereas the home team was close to promotion. But the away team scored early goals and got the other team frustrated. The game needed my full concentration from scratch.
This focus helped me to spot a handball near the home team goal: yellow and penalty kick. Made the call and got compliments from the home team for spotting it and taking the correct measures. But they eventually made more fouls and I had to send off three of their players in total with yellow.
I ignored all their comments and showed yellow where appropriate. The game resulted in a narrow one goal difference victory by the away team. Handshakes from most of them, but still a talking home captain and goalie. I told them I heard enough and said I now understood why the futsal FA sent me to this game. He looked at me surprised. “Seriously? Are we being scrutinized?” He walked off steaming.
I was already into my second game when I saw him walking towards me with his sports bag and wet hair. With a smile this time and a hand on my shoulder. “Sorry ref, we were a bit frustrated.” Sure, I understand, I said. “But what was that about the FA and you reffing us?” Ha ha, got you bro. I pulled your proverbial leg and you went for it. He laughed and wished me a good night. I used my second game to cool down and left for home with a great feeling.